How Are You Handling Customer Complaints?

by | Dec 20, 2011

I can’t believe that many marketers still ignore customers who are dissatisfied. Especially since most of the complaints make their way to social sites.

Ignoring them won’t make the problem go away, and if the non-responsiveness continues, you may get a tweet with #FAIL attached to it and you’ll be part of an elite group (where you don’t want to be in) who have failed their customers. This is more of a problem for B-to-C companies than B-to-B, but none the less, you still shouldn’t ignore people. Fear and lack of resources are cited as the two most  reasons why companies don’t respond. You probably should rethink your priorities.

According to a recent survey done by, only 34% used social media to respond.

Engagement in Social Media According to B2B Marketing Executives in North America, May 2011 (% of total)

Another study by Maritz and Evolve24 showed that only 29% of the tweet gripes were responded to. As Jay Baer says, these channels are the social telephone. You’re missing the boat  for several reasons. One is that 83% of those who complain online want to be answered there. Secondly, those who complain on Twitter are already disproportionately upset and ignoring them will only add gas to the fire.

People complain on Twitter because they have already went through traditional means with no resolution. I can attest to this as I’m still fighting with Travelers Insurance on a hail claim on my roof. After getting nowhere with the local adjusters, I was venting on Twitter about it and lo and behold, I got a Tweet back asking me to call an advocacy number. While it didn’t solve my problem (they sent my complaint back to the local adjuster and now I’m one of his favorite people), at least I thought they tried to defuse the situation.

Research has shown that social media users want to be responded to even if a company wants to take the conversation offline. At least they acknowledged you.

So what are you doing to handle complaints on social media?

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